European Union (EU)

European Parliament Calls to Suspend Privacy Shield

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On the heels of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs’ (LIBE) recent resolution, the full European Parliament on July 5 adopted a resolution calling for the suspension of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield agreement if the U.S. fails to comply in full by September 1, 2018.  With a vote of 303 in favor and 223 opposed with 29 abstentions, the Parliament passed the resolution and stated concerns about the enforcement of the Privacy Shield framework and about U.S. surveillance and privacy law generally.  Regarding the resolution, LIBE Chair and rapporteur Claude Moraes said “[t]his [...] Read more

GDPR Fragmentation May Appear More Significant than Intended

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With the entry into application of the GDPR on May 25, 2018, the EU Member States were expected to have adopted national legislation implementing the regulation. To date, however, only 30% of Member States have effectively passed legislation, which still leaves the legal landscape to be precarious. The GDPR allows for deviations and specifications in several areas, for instance to introduce specific conditions or limitations for the processing of biometric, genetic, or health data; to create specific protection regimes for employee data; or to restrict the rights the GDPR grants to individuals. [...] Read more

EU Supervisory Authorities Disclose DPO Notification Tools

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Shortly after the GDPR’s entry into application on May 25, 2018, several EU Supervisory Authorities have activated online Data Protection Officer (“DPO”) notification tools, allowing organizations to communicate the contact details of their DPO to the Supervisory Authorities, which is a requirement under Article 37 GDPR. While the DPO Guidelines of the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”; replaced by the European Data Protection Board, “EDPB”) do not emphasize the requirement to notify DPOs, Supervisory Authorities (“SAs”) view these notifications as important, and have made available [...] Read more

European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee Targets EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, Cloud Act

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On June 12, 2018, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to suspend the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield unless the U.S. fully complies with the framework’s requirements by September 1, 2018.  With a vote of 29 votes in favor, 25 opposed, and 3 abstentions the LIBE passed the draft resolution calling on the European Commission to (1) ensure that the Privacy Shield fully complies with the GDPR and the EU charter so as to not create loopholes or competitive advantage for US companies; and (2) restart [...] Read more

German DPAs Issue DPIA Blacklists; Many Companies Likely to be Affected

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The GDPR entered into force on May 25, 2018.  One of the GDPR’s core going-forward obligations is the duty to conduct Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) over processing activities that create a “high risk” to individuals’ privacy.  DPIAs constitute an important aspect of GDPR compliance, as they arguably replace the notifications of processing systems and activities to European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) which pre-GDPR privacy law often obligated companies to make.  Instead of notifying DPAs, the GDPR now requires companies to internally conduct DPIAs that document “high [...] Read more

Irish High Court Refers Schrems 2.0 to the ECJ

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On April 11, Justice Caroline Costello of the Irish High Court referred the Schrems 2.0 case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) with 11 questions for the ECJ to answer. Per Justice Costello, the sole issue in the case is whether the European Commission’s Decisions regarding standard contractual clauses (SCCs) are valid, which is reflected in the 11 questions posed. The reference asks the ECJ to determine: Whether provisions of EU law related to national security, public security, defense, and state security apply to transfers of data outside the EU under SCCs; Whether [...] Read more

Council of the European Union publishes new draft ePrivacy Regulation

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The Council of the European Union published a new draft of the ePrivacy Regulation (link here) for discussion purposes on 22 March. This draft aims to facilitate discussions as we are moving towards the final version of the ePrivacy Regulation. As such, the changes outlined below are not final, but rather indicative of the direction that the ePrivacy Regulation is taking. Of particular interest to companies are the provisions relating to cookie settings, and direct marketing communications:   Cookie Settings The new draft clarifies that a one-off consent for a cookie in the context [...] Read more

Belgian Court Uses Novel Argument to Assume International Jurisdiction over Non-EU Facebook Entities

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On February 16, 2018, the Brussels Court of First Instance rendered a judgment in proceedings brought by the Belgian Privacy Commission’s against Facebook. The case forms one part of two-tiered litigation brought by the Commission in regards to alleged monitoring practices vis-à-vis Belgian internet users. In parallel to the proceedings that resulted in the judgment cited above, the Belgian Privacy Commission had also initiated a procedure referred to as “summary proceedings” against Facebook – and Facebook defeated the Privacy Commission’s claim before the Brussels Court of Appeal in [...] Read more

100 Days Until GDPR Effective Date – Sharing Our GDPR Experience

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In less than 100 days, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect. This means that as of May 25, 2018, each national Supervisory Authority will have the authority to apply and enforce the GDPR. The GDPR raises the bar in terms of requirements substantially higher than the Data Protection Framework Directive. For instance, it recognizes new rights for data subjects (e.g. right to be forgotten and right to data portability), introduces data breach notification requirements, introduces the concept of a Data Protection Officer, and brings enhanced accountability obligations. Given [...] Read more

Privacy & Data Security Team Launches Unique GDPR Tracker Website

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“To Harmonize or Not To Harmonize: That Is the Question.” With the the GDPR fast approaching on May 25, 2018, European Member States are getting ready with the implementation of national legislation. Although the GDPR is a regulation, and directly applicable in all Member States, it has left room for country-specific legislation in several different regards (such as the processing of employee data or individual rights restrictions). Most Member States still only have draft legislation at this point, but the expectation (or at least intention) is that each country will have adopted legislation [...] Read more